State budget delivery delayed until after election

The Andrews Government has announced it will postpone the delivery of this year’s state budget until after next month’s federal election, postponing its original release by almost a month.

According to a statement released on Friday, the Andrews Labor Government has made the decision to postpone its budget until after the federal election “due to the stark difference being offered to our state by Federal Labor and the Federal Liberals and Nationals”.

The decision has been met with criticism from the opposition, with Leader of the Opposition Michael O’Brien and Member for Ripon and Shadow Treasurer Louise Staley, hitting out at the decision, with Mr O’Brien stating “Victorians need to know the state of our books”.

“We deserve to know the truth about the budget as originally planned on April 30,” he said.

Ms Staley echoed Mr O’Brien’s comments, stating Victorians “need to know” what’s included in the state budget.

“Will country roads and regional infrastructure remain underfunded and ignored by this Melbourne-centric government? Will Mr Pallas keep ignoring desperately-needed upgrades to hospitals and schools in regional Victoria?,” she said.

“Country Victorians deserve to know if Labor will go ahead with its plans to axe the Regional Development Fund which has invested $1 billion into country communities.

“This is the Victorian Budget and Victorians deserve to know what new taxes and new cuts to regional programs they will be suffering under Labor. Victorians deserve better.”

The statement from Daniel Andrews’ office stated it would be “irresponsible” to finalise the state budget “at this time”.

“Only one side is currently putting forward a real partnership with Victoria,” the statement from the premier’s office read.

“Federal Labor is promising to partner with our state to roll out three-year-old kinder, put more funding into our schools and hospitals, build the Suburban Rail Loop and properly fund the NDIS.

For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, April 16

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